If you have visited Autumn Harvest Winery and Orchard, chances are you have met Violet. Violet: the eight-year-old winery/orchard queen bee that will sell you on just about anything, bag it up, and give you your receipt and change. Although some are hesitant to hand over their twenty dollar bill, most customers are simply amazed at her professional manner, ability and the customer service she exudes. She always wins them over, especially when she smiles and says, “I love your shoes!” She makes everyone feel welcome.
She was born into the apple orchard business, like her dad. She will be the first to tell you that it is not always easy. Sitting in the shed next to a space heater on rainy days only to sell a peck of Honeycrisp can be tough. Spending every weekend at the business can get old, and boredom creeps in. But, it always amazes me how she overcomes it. On busy days in the tasting room, and even when we are bottling wine, she is a huge help and keeps us all smiling. Everyone agrees it’s just better when she is around. It’s not all hard work though – she cruises around on the four-wheeler and tractor, has access to all the goodies we sell, and is surrounded by the natural beauty 80 acres has to offer. All that fresh air has to do a kid good, right?
I think the best thing Violet has learned is how rewarding it is to support and spend time with family. She is aware how hard work can pay off, and I think it is embedded in her general way of thinking. The socializing and interactions she has encountered from a young age will no doubt prove priceless in the years to come. As her mother and “partner”, I continue to teach her but admittedly learn more from her than I ever thought possible. I am so proud of her each and every day. I hope that she always remembers the good times we have had at the orchard and her experiences have positively shaped her life, and will continue to facilitate the gifts God has given her.